At a Glance


  • Social sciences

Instructional Level

  • College & CEGEP


  • Individual and Society

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group
  • Whole Class

Type of Tasks

  • Collecting & seeking information
  • Discussing
  • Writing
  • Presenting

Technical Details

Useful Technologies

  • Low-tech: Whiteboards; High tech: Shared online board

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Single class period (< 90 mins)

Instructional Purpose

  • Application & knowledge building
  • Assessment & knowledge refinement


In this activity, students complete a grid that illustrates influences during different life course periods – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood – that reinforce gender narratives. These influences come from a variety of agents of socialization and the grid focuses on four broad sets of agents – family, school, peers, and the media.

The instructor begins class with an interactive lecture and discussion of key concepts, which include socialization, agents of socialization, the difference between gender and sex, gender identity, expression, and sexual orientation.

The instructor divides the class into 6 groups and each group is assigned two squares, ideally with different time periods and different agents. Individually, students reflect on their squares at home to come up with two examples from their own experience, which they share in the next class. This activity really comes to life if students are encouraged to bring visuals (photos, or media links) to go with their examples. 

In the following class, each student shares at least one personal experience with their group. Together they choose 2 or 3 of the most interesting examples from their group for each of their assigned squares. Then groups selected by the instructor present these examples to the class. The Instructor can take this opportunity to break up presentations to share thought provoking examples using multimedia. Students are encouraged to identify other squares they would like to go through together. Meanwhile, students are expected to record these examples on their own grid handout.

As homework students are asked to complete the grid. They choose 1-2 examples for each square from the options presented in class that they think are the most clear and effective examples for them. The grid can be submitted as a possible formative assessment.

The students can post photos from their selection of examples to an online resource that becomes an artifact for them to use as study material for a later assessment. The instructor can validate students by integrating their work (pics and visuals) into the lecture slides for future review and reference.

Instructional Objectives

Students will be able to:

  • Identify gender socialization from childhood, adolescence and adulthood
  • Associate gender socialization with their own experience from childhood, adolescence and adulthood
  • Relate their experiences with those of their peers

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

  • The activity re-enforces connections between common life course experiences and sociology concepts such as socialization and agents of socialization.
  • It encourages deeper reflection and engagement, especially as it causes students to analyze their environments.
  • Students tend to struggle with coming up with examples for the adult stage.
  • You will not have time to go through all the stages and agents, so you will have to be ready to select the ones you will want to explore with the class.
  • The discussions around this activity can be richer if you have been started discussing social location and intersectionality.
  • This activity offers a good opportunity to create new groups. 
  • This activity can be complemented with homework that consists of journal entry about the student’s reflection on their gender socialization gender.
  • Optional: You can ask students to choose any 3 gender socialization experiences in order to describe and analyze them with the help of relevant citations from course materials. They submit the grid and personal reflections as a possible formative assessment.

Applied Strategies


Leave a comment! Activities get better when we receive feedback and understand how they might be adapted and reused. Please let us know what you think after using this Activity, or if you have questions about how it might be used differently.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *